Take action, but start offline!

Back on Track with Ivan Krastev

26. June 2018
Magazine > Voices > Take action, but start offline!

Embark with us on a train ride with  with the renowned political scientist Ivan Krastev and enjoy his sober analysis of the facts to consider when acting for change.

“Probably you know the fact that in the last years the number of people who died when trying to climb Everest has increased. And the major question is, why? Why does it happen that now that we have much better equipment, there are more people dying? The experts have the answer. Because today, a lot of people who are not prepared to climb Everest, are trying to do it. Before, you were going to climb many different tops of mountains in order to prepare yourself to go to Everest. Today, because of the new equipment, because of everything, you believe that Everest could be the first top of a mountain that you can climb. I’m saying this, because as somebody has observed, this is also the effect of social media on social movements these days. The fact that one post on your Facebook can get hundreds of thousands of people on the streets makes people believe that they don’t need organisation anymore, they don’t need preparation anymore. That everything is going to happen miraculously. It’s just enough to go into social media and to post the appeal to which people are going to respond. But here’s the problem. People can come, but people can decide not to come. And you’re never going to do it if you have not been doing it with the same people many different times. If you have not been climbing smaller tops, not always Everests. So from this point of view, I believe that social media is probably one of the best things that happened to civic activism these days, it is also one of the most tricky ones. Because if you really want to succeed, you cannot start with Everest. You should have your small victory somewhere else. Somewhere, where you are not going to be in the news.”

This text and video is published under the Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0. The name of the author/rights holder should be mentioned as followed. Author: Jovana Trifunovic and Igor Bararon / Cover picture: Ivan Krastev, film still. Photo: © Igor Bararon / ERSTE Stiftung.

Back on Track

As our world is facing major geopolitical shifts and challenges, from the rise of nationalism to increased demands for privacy, from balancing growing human needs with environmental limits, there is undoubtedly space for major improvements. We see civil society as the key driving force in this process and have therefore launched the video series “Back on Track” about social engagement and activism as a clear sign of support to the dedicated change makers in our societies. The Video “Take action, but start offline!” is the third episode of the six-part video series.